"Worth reading ", says Rabab Mirza

A review taken from Flipkart .. glad that Anu was able to make Rabab Mirza laugh and think. Here’s the full review 

humorous tale of a girl turning THIRTY !
She is funny , confused , indecisive and she is turning THIRTY ! Sri Anuprabha is the lady in discussion . The story is about Anu trying to find her identity and during this search of what she actually wants to do , she goes through several ups and downs …. The story is sure to make you laugh , smile and wonder . Loved the plot of mango (aam) woman and search for an identity of her own and the hilarious series of events that took place in this search !

P.S – spending Rs.19000 instead of Rs.30000 (on knock offs) , calling it smart ! HAHA !

Worth reading 🙂


Have you bought the book yet? Its available for Rs. 138 with free shipping in Ebay ( see link on side-bar) 


Book page : https://www.facebook.com/thecrossoveryearbhargavi

2 books are up for grabs on Goodreads. Do participate in the giveaway  here http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/75976-the-crossover-year

First review for The crossover Year

The ‘firsts’ are always special.. And this review by Kirthi Jayakumar is super special because the lady in question is an awesome writer herself.. I’ve been so nervous the past few days about how the book will be perceived  and Kirthi’s review reinforced my desire to keep writing books without worrying about how well/badly they do..With every book , I’ve felt like I have carved out a portion of myself and put it out for the entire world’s scrutiny and that’s a scary thing for someone who treasures her personal space as much as I do. Anyway , no more rambling.. here’s what Kirthi had to say about the book

“When you start reading Bhargavi Balachandran’s Crossover Year, the first thing that strikes you is how effortlessly written it is. Right from the very proper language to the very charming and relatable narrative, Bhargavi has you hooked by sheer talent and skill.
Chasing the life and times of Sri Anuprabha as she hits the big Three-O – something she is terrified of – the book has a very sweet way of mapping the desi girl’s mind. At 29, Anu, as she calls herself, is a banker. All she ever wants to do is to don yoga pants, and traipse about the world without abandon. But alas – with things going crazy at breakneck speed, poor Anu winds up being forced to watch Tamil sitcoms that provide for mindless non-entertainment.
Faced with the prospect of turning 30 (YIKES!) and the fact that she simply wants to strap up and get a life, she decides to arm herself with her very own five-point-plan of action. Save for Sheldon Cooper, as the world has come to know, very few people can live with a flowchart to guide their every last move. As the global financial meltdown decides to rear its mighty ugly head, Anu finds that her plans are best reserved for the dustbin. What awaits her is an unexpected series of intensely crazy moments. Journeying with Anu as she falls, picks herself up, sometimes dusts herself, sometimes doesn’t, always moving on – not without the effervescent charm that is so inherent in her.
A lovely coming-of-age storyline, Anu’s narrative is not just relatable, but also very endearing. After you devour the last page of the book, you don’t look at The Crossover Year as a book anymore. Anu acquires a very clear personification in your mind’s eye – Bhargavi’s writing is definitely clever enough to awake imagination even in the dullest of minds. You feel like you have had an exchange with a friend sitting beside you, rather than reading words scrawled on a page. Read The Crossover Year by all means – you don’t want to miss out on Anu’s quest for her mojo! “

Watch this space for more reviews and book updates .. Sorry , I am too excited to do a proper blog post on something other than the book now. The Crossover Year seems like my entire life now 🙂  For once it doesn’t feel unatural googling myself 😉

Join the book’s page here https://www.facebook.com/thecrossoveryearbhargavi

The second book is out!

Just got the author copies and am super excited..

Here are the details of where the book is available  …




Meet Sri Anuprabha, aka Anu, a twenty-nine year-old banker who is terrified of entering her thirties. She dreams of quitting her job at the bank, sporting yoga pants and traipsing around the world. Her world turns upside down when things go awry and she is faced with the prospect of spending her days watching Tamil serials. She comes up with a five-point plan for reclaiming her life back before she hits the big 30. But things are never as simple as drawing up a flowchart in real life, are they? Especially with a ghastly recession rearing its ugly head. Anu bumbles through the corridors of domesticity and travels on a fun-filled roller coaster ride in a bid to discover her passion in life. Along the way, she meets new people, experiences crazy things and learns some hard lessons in marriage, friendship, parenting and life. The Crossover Year is a funny, yet heartwarming story of a woman in search of her identity, and a chronicle of her hilarious quest for discovering her inner mojo. Bring out a platter of cookies and a steaming mug of chai, and join Anu on the ride of her lifetime.


The crossover year now available in Flipkart here http://bit.ly/1byZRsK

On Bharat Book’s ebay shop here http://bit.ly/1e761ES @ Rs. 138 with free shipping 

On Amazon here http://bit.ly/1gr302r ( both Kindle and paperback versions are avbl) 

Review copies will go out soon… If you’d like to review the book , do mail me on writetobedazzled@gmail.com 


So here’s blurb of the book…



Yay! Here’s the blurb that will be on the back cover of the book.. 


“Meet Sri Anuprabha, aka Anu, a twenty-nine year-old banker who is terrified of entering her thirties. She dreams of quitting her job at the bank, sporting yoga pants and traipsing around the world. Her world turns upside down when things go awry and she is faced with the prospect of spending her days watching Tamil serials. She comes up with a five-point plan for reclaiming her life back before she hits the big 30. But things are never as simple as drawing up a flowchart in real life, are they? Especially with a ghastly recession rearing its ugly head…. Anu bumbles through the corridors of domesticity and travels on a funfilled roller coaster ride in a bid to discover her passion in life. Along the way, she meets new people, experiences crazy new things and learns some hard lessons in marriage, friendship, parenting and life. The Crossover Year is a funny, yet heartwarming story of a woman in search of her identity, and a chronicle of her hilarious quest for discovering her inner mojo. Bring out a platter of cookies and a steaming mug of chai, and join Anu on the ride of her lifetime.”

Here’s the link to the book’s page here
Here’s the publisher’s page  here
Stay tuned for more Anu-isms 🙂 

The Reluctant Detective by Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral’s debut novel, The Reluctant Detective is a true –blue chick-lit. It is the story of Kanan Mehra aka Kay, a thirty-something suburban housewife who, in between her ladies lunches and pedicures pokes her nose into two grisly murders that happen in her locality. Kay is intrigued ( scared of blood and squeamish also), but wants to get to the bottom of the murders.She therefore decides to investigate the murders with her detective friend Runa. If you have read Manral’s blogs before, you’ll be no stranger to her brand of self-deprecating sophisticated humor. The book has copious amounts of that to keep you in splits, most of the time. Kay’s antics are funny and her obsession for lipsticks and stilettos and weight is rather amusing. What is also adorable is Kay’s son’s( the brat aka Kabir’s) brat-speak and the responses of her retro-sexual husband. All this works for the book and makes it a fun-filled ride. The humor is definitely not in-your-face- ha- ha- I’m-rolling-on-the-floor-laughing kinds, but subtle and polished. Manral is great with words and her writing, ergo, rather clever. So all this works for the book.
What doesn’t is the fact that there is very little “actual” investigation happening. And whatever little “reluctant” investigation happens is lost between Kay’s rambling, that one often wonders when she would move on and “do something”, rather than just say something witty about some really unrelated thing. While I get the point that Kay’s personality is such that she takes the way she looks seriously and rambles aimlessly (all this makes Kay immensely likeable, mind you!), after a point it just got a little too much for me. Very Becky Bloomwood-ish characterization (and that’s not such a bad thing ,because Bloomwood happens to be one of the most adored chick-lit heroines).
Now don’t get me wrong, I love chick-lits (they happen to be one of my favorite genres), and Manral is one of the few authors who have managed to give her protagonist a strong voice, but because the plot itself is rather slow , it got too tedious for me. Actually, the plot is wafer thin- no twists, no red herrings, no complicated chases. Just tongue-in-cheek humour courtesy Kay’s monologues. It takes almost 120-odd pages (the book is only 180 pages) for Kay to even start getting involved into the investigation, and even when she does get involved, the cases just get “almost” solved on their own.
The writing is supremely funny, though and the wry wit definitely makes the book immensely readable. Kay’s take on the random things like buffets and the behavior of maids was rather refreshing to read.Wish the book had not been marketed at a murder mystery, because if you are going to be reading it in that light , you are going to be disappointed. If you read the book only for the laughs and for Manral’s funny observations, you’ll find yourself enjoying it.
Recommended to all lovers of Chick-lits. This is definitely a book to curl up with on a Sunday afternoon.
My rating : 3 stars out of 5.
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Yoga School Dropout by Lucy Edge

The pink coloured cover of this book with a picture of a woman in spaghetti top,stilettos and yoga pants sitting in a yoga pose clutching a handbag somehow almost screams “Don’t take me seriously!.”But Lucy Edge’s travel memoir is not as flippant as you would think it would be.Lucy,a disenchanted Londoner,who works for a huge ad agency is tired of coming up with ideas to sell margarine.She decides to travel to India in search of enlightenment and a perfect headstand.I know what you are thinking..Sounds like a copy-cat version of Eat Pray Love ,right ?.In a lot of ways the premise seems to be the same but there is a huge difference in the journey.. And the book was published in 2004,a year before Elizabeth got hers published.

Lucy starts her journey from Mumbai and goes on a whirlwind tour of yoga ashrams in India.Along the way she falls for drop-dead gorgeous swami,has a blast with fellow-yoga students,stays in bug infested places,has trouble with her yoga postures,meets interesting people and has drunken binges.Her voice is self-deprecating and funny at the same time. She very candidly describes the state of affairs in ashrams across the country and how she struggles with finding a balance between wanting a cute top and finding the formula for inner peace.

The concept of covering almost 5-6 ashrams and trying to figure out one form of yoga that would finally take her closer to her goal of enlightenment in a period of 4-5 months is almost laughable.But whatever else Lucy lacks,it definitely isn’t earnestness.As she flits from Amrita Ma’s hugging marathons to Osho’s ashram’s five-star spa quality ashram where she experiments with attaining peace through sexual ways to Sri Aurobindo’s utopian Auroville’s,Lucy tells all. She doesn’t hide behind lush words or nebulous concepts.Certain parts of the narrative might seem dense as Lucy describes certain yogic practices and asanas in detail. I have visited most of the cities Lucy goes to ,but was amused at the observations she makes.Something only a very involved traveler could make..Her descriptions of Rishikesh and Chennai stand out and would make you want to nod your head in agreement.

Overall,its an endearing read.Will definitely not give you earth shattering revelations about spirituality.But its a total joy-ride. 3.5/5 for this almost cutesy book.Perfect travel read.

Oink,Oink ..Says the Piggy


Book name : Piggies On the railway
Author: Smita Jain
Publisher : Westland
Rating: 3/5

Piggies on a railway by Smita Jain is a a fine specimen of a wacky Chicklit.First in the franchise of Kasthuri Kumari mysteries, Piggies is a time pass book.Full paisa vasool.Kasthuri Kumari a.k.a Katie is a Private investigator who is asked to investigate a case of a missing starlet,Urvashi .Katie is gloriously politically incorrect about everything.She smokes like a chimney,drinks like a fish,sleeps with a minimum of 3 men in the book, rides a bike,has a fetish for Jimmy choos & designer wear ,swears like a pig and isn’t averse to the idea of a little self-appeasement with the shower head. With a protagonist like that, it isn’t surprising that the book is wacky and even weird at times.

As Katie unravels the mystery about Urvashi,she bumps into equally insane characters.More dead cadavers turn up and the finally after a colossal 400 pages,the mystery is resolved.I don’t think it makes any sense for me to get into the plot,so i’ll stick to my opinion about the book. I found it immensely enjoyable.I read from Westland’s site that the first print got sold in 3 weeks.I am not surprised.This book is a thorough entertainer.

The book is Sex in the City meets Charlie’s angels type stuff. This is a genre that has not been experimented by Indian authors and Smita has cleverly created Katie Kumar to fill this niche. The book is liberally sprinkled with references of sex and is humorous in places.In fact,Katie’s thinking is irreverent and wickedly funny at times.Though the book is a tad long,the plot never sags and there is enough happening at all times to keep you amused.My only qualm is that at times,Smita has tried to dumb down Katie,whereas at other places she has tried to paint the picture of a smart PI who doesn’t live by the rules of society.Only in the last few pages are we told why the book is named Piggies on a railway…Very esoteric reference,if you ask me.

Overall, it’s a fun read.Don’t expect Sherlock Holmes type investigation here.Katie Kumar is sure to become a huge hit among people who like chicklits and mysterys.Double bonanza for people like me who enjoy both genres.

Rating: 3 /5

The Chicklit bug..

Howdy people ??.. yeah !! i am backkkkk!! didnt expect to be back so soon.. What with 2 computer crashes and a full plate (not with food!!).. but i am !!I started missing writing here so badly that i had to end my self imposed exile..have been peeping into a few blogs the last few days.. but not been commenting or anything .. So much has happened in my absence !!! an award here,a baby yonder.Glad to see a lot of people on blog-breaks back as well!!..Thankfully my reading habit’s decided to come back to me .. like that twin that got lost in the kumbh mela.. And,i am on this chicklit binge…I am convinced that chicklits are what i enjoy reading the most.. why mope about depressing things when we can have a riot? .. what say ? Oh,i am reading sidin Vaukut book..and am loving it !!..wonder why the genre isnt called guy-lit.
You must check out his blog.. Whatay.com.. This guy is funny !! anyway.. See u guys around !!!!

Cocktails for three- Where’s the high?

It’s no secret that i love Sophie Kinsella’s writing.As a corollary, i assumed that i would like Madeleine Wickham’s writing as well.After all,it was by the same author. I wouldn’t say i was entirely right. The writing styles are as different as morning and night. Whereas,Kinsella enthralls you with her witty writing, Madeline’s writing is more restrained and mature.I haven’t read any other Madeleine novel and might run the risk of over-generalizing.

Cocktails for three is about the lives of 3 young with-it women who work for a magazine in London and are best of friends.
Roxanne is a confident and gutsy young lady who has a secret lover whose identity nobody knows.Not even the other 2 girls.

Maggie is the capable editor of the magazine who finds it difficult to grapple with the issues of motherhood

Candice is the quintessential trusting,generous blonde with a troubled past.

The trio meet regularly at a local bar to gossip and catch up with their lives.Their lives change when, unexpectedly Candice’s schoolmate turns up as a waitress at their favorite bar.The story is not exactly path breaking and is predictably tame.
Each woman has a different ghost to conquer and as usual the story is about how the women get their act together at the end of it all..Can chick-lits have an ending other than a “happily ever after”?.

I was a little dissapointed with the typecasting related to names.Do all Roxanne’s have to be gutsy and spunky ?.Similarly, do all Candice’s have to be blonde,unsuspecting innocent girls?.The book didn’t make me gasp out of surprise at any point in the narrative.

That is where i realized that the Kinsella name hung about this novel’s neck like a dead albatross. This book was not meant to have crazy twists.It was meant to chronicle the journeys of 3 young women who were battling 3 different situations. When i started seeing the book in this light,i felt that the book was not that disappointing.It was a standard Danielle Steele-type fare(sans the melodrama and copious amounts of tearing!).Despite the book being devoted to 3 heroines,all 3 characters are etched out well.

The emotions that the 3 central characters go through are also captured very well.However,some emotions like the insecure feeling that Maggie has when her mother in law tries to help her out or the one where Candice feels guilty about the families that her father ruined is a little grating on the nerves after a point as it gets too excessive.

Overall,its a decent read. Not as light-hearted or funny as i would have wanted it to be.If i didn’t know that this was written by the same lady who wrote Confessions of a shopaholic, i would probably not judge it this way!.Definitely not my style of writing,but i have promised myself to read a few more Madeleine books to understand her style better.I would stick to Cecilia Ahern or Danielle Steele if i needed a non-humorous chick-lit fix !

Rating : 2 out of 5.

Ok,i have signed up for the Booker challenge and have decided to start of with Winner’s circle where 6 booker winners need to be read in the next one year.. doable i guess..I have read only 2 books ,that too a long time ago.. needs a revisit!! List of winners..

2009 – Wolf Hall (Mantel)
2008 – The White Tiger (Adiga)
2007 – The Gathering (Enright)
2006 – The Inheritance of Loss (Desai)
2005 – The Sea (Banville)
2004 – The Line of Beauty (Hollinghurst)
2003 – Vernon God Little (Pierre)
2002 – Life of Pi (Martel)
2001 – True History of the Kelly Gang (Carey)
2000 – The Blind Assassin (Atwood)
1999 – Disgrace (Coetzee)
1998 – Amsterdam: A Novel (McEwan)
1997 – The God of Small Things (Roy)
1996 – Last Orders (Swift)
1995 – The Ghost Road (Barker)
1994 – How Late It Was, How Late (Kelman)
1993 – Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha (Doyle)
1992 – The English Patient (Ondaatje)
1992 – Sacred Hunger (Unsworth)
1991 – The Famished Road (Okri)
1990 – Possession: A Romance (Byatt)
1989 – The Remains of the Day (Ishiguro)
1988 – Oscar and Lucinda (Carey)
1987 – Moon Tiger (Lively)
1986 – The Old Devils (Amis)
1985 – The Bone People (Hulme)
1984 – Hotel Du Lac (Brookner)
1983 – Life & Times of Michael K (Coetzee)
1982 – Schindler’s Ark (Keneally)
1981 – Midnight’s Children (Rushdie)
1980 – Rites of Passage (Golding)
1979 – Offshore (Fitzgerald)
1978 – The Sea, the Sea (Murdoch)
1977 – Staying on (Scott)
1976 – Saville (Storey)
1975 – Heat and Dust (Jhabvala)
1974 – The Conservationist (Gordimer)
1974 – Holiday (Middleton)
1973 – The Siege of Krishnapur (Farrell)
1972 – G. (Berger)
1971 – In a Free State (Naipaul)
1970 – The Elected Member (Rubens)
1969 – Something to Answer For